I got a phone call last night that I didn't return until this morning. My Dad is dying due to some material breaking away from his lungs and lodging in his brain (smoking). I don't know the details, but as you might expect, it's inoperable and so it's off to a final curtain call. On the good side, it isn't painful, he's just not all with it. Standard cache of answers and nothing that shows any thoughts are able to be put together. They are describing it like early Dementia.
So I'm off to take the helm of the ship. I was the closest to him years ago. We parted ways when my paternal grandmother died. Everyone thought that he would call me about her death and he never did. I called my Mom who was travelling at the time and she informed me that the funeral was the next day. It was a surreal set of circumstances that led to that being the case. He never was a man whom took responsibility in life, and that was the mother lode that broke the proverbial camels back. I cut him off for about five years and have only seen him three times since (ten years ago all three in the last five years).
My father isn't close to anyone. It's an old paternal family trait that I'm breaking intentionally. I feel like a leader in my generation of family. People look to me often and in this time, I'll be heading up to make all of the decisions. I'll call a few huddles, but it's really to do what I can to make everyone feel included. It's not that my decisions are the only right decisions, but they will be decisions and likely the same ones he would make. My aunt would opt for radiation and doing everything, only to prolong his life for her purposes. Fortunately everyone will step out of my way on this and let me deal with it. It's a benefit of growing up in a patriarchal family if you are a male. Not so much if you are female... another thing that I don't have in my house, inequality. but ladies, that means deal with your own toilet seat as well. :)
My father was a non-believer. Not a hardliner like I am, he just didn't care about religion. Much of my family is religious. Since my father didn't really care, I'm thinking that I'm going to make sure that his service includes some passages such as dust to dust to make some feel more comfortable. My wife and I don't want it for out funerals, but we are more hardline about it and everyone knows. What do you think about what I'm thinking? Should I allow the peace of mind for those left behind or be clear about who he was? I'm feeling like it wasn't on his shirtsleeve, so let my sister and aunts grieve in the best way they know how. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.
A preemptive thanks for any sympathies. Just get to the meat of the matter. It will help me more.